TD survey finds that 3 in 4 Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents say there are more scams targeting them now than ever before

March is Fraud Prevention Month, and a new TD survey shows that residents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba feel they have been the target of more scams than ever before.

The survey found that 77 per cent of residents in the provinces feel that there are more scams targeting them now than ever before, the highest percentage of any region in the country and an increase of six per cent compared to last year.

Nearly 6 in 10 (57%) of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents feel vulnerable about being a target for financial fraud, an increase of 20 per cent year over year.

“Fraud is being supercharged with AI, and there are many reasons why fraud continues to go up, but this is why it’s so important that we educate people about looking out and protecting themselves from fraud,” said Sophia Leung, the Senior Vice-President of Protect Platform with TD Bank.

Leung continued that education is extremely key to preventing more victims, with more than 1 in 4 (26%) of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents being victims of financial fraud.

“It’s really important for everyone of all ages to continue learning about educating themselves on fraud prevention and also reporting and talking about it when it happens,” Leung said. “Being honest with your bank and also reporting that you’ve been scammed so that those of us in this fraud prevention space can understand what’s happened and try to help our customers prevent fraud.”

Last year, there were more than 41,111 victims of fraud, with a total of $554 million lost for fraud, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Leung explained how people can educate themselves about fraud.

“The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, our TD Online websites offer online resources where people can read and learn about common fraud scams so you can more easily identify and avoid them,” she said. “People should keep themselves updated because scams will keep changing; second is being alert to how you may be scammed.”

The top methods used by fraudsters to target Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents include phone calls (79%), email/text messages (78%—the highest in Canada), social media (29%), online ads (13%), and job/service applications (8%).

“If and when something happens, report it,” Leung stated. “That’s very important for us to understand what’s happening to our customers, and the branch staff are really the first line of defence in helping you protect your money.”

She adds that other important tools to protect yourself from fraud include monitoring your transactions and statements, being careful where you share your personal information, such as banking credentials, locking your card, and reporting it immediately if you misplace or lose it.

Leung said that overall, the most important step is to report suspected fraudulent charges to your financial institution, as 1 in 4 (24%) Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents would feel too embarrassed to tell anyone if they were a fraud or scam victim.

“While we understand how being scammed can be such a personal violation, the best to do to protect yourself and others it o report and continue to get educated.”

From 2021 to 2023, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre recovered over $6.6 million for residents, highlighting the need to report fraud when it happens.

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